As businesses have migrated more processes to digital and cloud-based solutions, they’ve included the vendor related processes as part of the change. Manual vendor interactions no longer serve organizations well in the digital age, and the COVID-19 pandemic shifted things even further. A study by Ardent Partners found that 53 percent of businesses altered how and when they paid vendors as a result of the pandemic.
Many businesses are choosing digital solutions like vendor portals for vendor related tasks and transactions to remove the manual tasks from the AP team, improve inefficiency, and strengthen vendor relationships. If your organization is still using manual, resource-intensive processes to exchange information with vendors/suppliers, you’re wasting valuable time, money, and labor. Vendor portals can help bring your vendors into electronic communication with your business so you can digitally exchange documents, track, and share processes in real-time, and eliminate manual tasks with your AP and Vendor teams.
What Is a Vendor Portal?
A vendor portal is a solution that provides a central hub for vendors to submit invoices, requests, and master updates and to track transactions from start to finish electronically instead of through email and spreadsheets. A vendor portal solution can integrate with your existing enterprise resource planning (ERP) or accounts payable automation platforms.
Vendors can digitally submit invoices which can then go through your internal validation, processes and even be part of your approval and exception processing depending on what parts of the processes you prefer in your ERP system or as part of the vendor portal.
With a vendor portal, users can get instant access to approvals and exceptions from any device – mobile or desktop – which means no matter how dispersed your workforce is, you will have access to these processes and data in real time.
Why Use a Vendor Portal?
The right vendor portal will offer your business multiple benefits, including:
Improved Employee Productivity
Your accounts payable department is significantly bogged down by manual processes with your vendors. And should errors occur in manual workflows, they then have to devote even more time to fix them. With a vendor portal solution, your staff will be able to keep processes moving, freeing up their time to focus on more high-value tasks. You’ll see higher productivity out of your entire AP department.
By managing your vendor documents through software, you’ll reduce many operations that put a drain on your business – delivering savings back into your company. With a dramatic reduction in calls and emails about payment statuses, your staff will gain hours back. You’ll onboard and update vendors more efficiently – speeding up your work together and your time-to-value. Better data management means less wasted time checking on the statuses of checks. And with the ability to provide answers to invoice inquiries in real-time, you won’t play phone tag. With a vendor portal solution, all of these time-saving features mean a reduction in labor costs.
Improved Vendor Relationships
It’s no cost to vendors to start submitting digital documents in your portal and collaborating with vendors in real-time means speedier invoice submission on their end and faster payment on your end. You’ll cement better relationships with your vendors as both parties will be clear about the status of transactions, and there will be no inexplicable lag in payments. A vendor portal to submit transactions, inquiries, vendor onboarding, or master updates will speed the pace at which information travels and introduce self-service to your finance-based transactions and data.
If you’re interested in how a vendor portal solution can improve your vendor relationships, drive up efficiency, and drive down costs, contact All Star today.